Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Pathway Polymorphisms as Prognostic and Pharmacogenetic Factors in Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
Angiogenesis is an important host process that interacts with cancer cells to promote growth, invasion, and metastasis. Numerous therapeutic agents targeting the VEGF pathway have been developed. Host variability in VEGF pathway can influence angiogenesis-dependent signaling, altering sensitivity to antiangiogenic drugs and prognosis. A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted (May 1990-July 2011). Eligible studies involved cancer patients and compared polymorphisms in the VEGF pathway [VEGF and molecules directly interacting with VEGF: KDR, FLT1, FGF, FGF2, FGFR, NRP1, endostatin (encoded by COL18A1)], and reported one of the following outcomes: overall survival, progression-free survival, time to recurrence, disease-free survival, response rate, or drug toxicity. We identified 48 cancer studies assessing prognosis and 12 cancer studies exploring pharmacogenetics of anti-VEGF therapy across various VEGF pathway polymorphisms. There was marked inter- and intradisease site heterogeneity in the effect of polymorphisms on both outcome and response to therapy. Meta-analyses of 5 VEGF polymorphisms (+936C>T, -460T>C, +405G>C, -1154G>A, and -2578C>A) identified a significant prognostic relationship: VEGF +405G>C variants showed a highly statistically significant improvement in overall survival [HR, 0.74; 95% confidence interval, 0.60-0.91; P = 0.004]. Variants (heterozygotes and/or homozygotes) of VEGF +405G>C were significantly associated with improved survival in a meta-analysis of multiple cancer sites. Clin Cancer Res; 18(17); 4526-37. (C)2012 AACR.